Thai exports hit 30-year high in March

Demand for Thai products is surging as exports hit a 30-year high in March despite skyrocketing shipping costs and global supply chain disruptions. The U.S. was one of the key growth markets for Thai shipments.

Exports are the strongest pillar of Thailand’s economy and so serve as a vital sign for gauging the Kingdom’s overall economic health. And exports have expanded for 13 consecutive months, an indication that that the recovery in growth is on a firm footing and not an anomaly.

March’s record setting export total was $28.8 billion, for a 19.5 percent increase compared with the same month last year. For the first quarter of 2022, exports increased by 14.9 percent. March’s figures were the highest for that month since Thailand started keeping export records in 1991.

The Ministry of Commerce said that the rise in energy and commodity prices befitted several goods such as iron, steel and their products, crude oil, refined oil, chemicals, plastic resins, and rubber tires, as well as agricultural and food products.

Agricultural and agro-industrial product exports have risen for 16 consecutive months, while industrial goods exports have increased for 13 consecutive months.

“Such an expansion is derived from robust global demand, partly from an improvement in the COVID-19 situation,” said Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit. He added that free trade agreements (FTAs) have been helping shipments of rice, fresh, chilled, frozen and processed chicken, processed seafood, along with automobiles, equipment and parts.

Many of the largest increases in shipments were to markets in Asia. The U.S. came in fifth in terms of increased exports from Thailand.